(By Isah Mansur)- Yes, the 2019 permutations or mathematics, if you like, scares me. Atiku will sweep SS and SE; sweep most of NC especially Benue, Kwara, Plateau and Kogi (forget about Yahaya Bello’s boasts); he will have significant votes in Taraba, Gombe, Adamawa and Kaduna. If he’s able to carry Kwankwaso, Lamido and Tambuwal along, he will have significant votes from Kano, Jigawa and Sokoto states respectively. Even in Katsina, his relationship with the Yar’adua family would count on his behalf especially in Katsina central.
Furthermore, being a contest between two northerners, the religious and tribal sentiments that played against GEJ will not be there. Atiku will get votes from many northern states especially those that have been PDP before 2015. The economic hardship people are undergoing at the grassroot, something this government seems to take for granted, will also count on Atiku’s favour as well as the below average performance of many APC governors.
The SW is also not a good vote bank for PMB presently. The margin between APC and PDP, judging from Ekiti and Osun elections, is still very narrow despite all the might of incumbency deployed in those elections that may not be there during the general election. The Tinubu political camp is now barely surviving by the whiskers in the southwest.
With all these pointers, I feel the government and its supporters must tight their belts if actually we want defeat Atiku. Dismissing him as corrupt and not trustworthy, as the Presidency seems to be doing, is not enough to defeat him at the polls. Many Nigerian passing through unprecedented hardship would hardly understand the benefits of fighting corruption and having an honest leader at the top. The APC and the government must be able to show Nigerians why they are better than Atiku in improving their lives rather clinging to the now worn-out “we are the honest people” argument. Hungry Nigerians would hardly understand that.
This is my humble opinion, looking at the reality.